The Statcast era of Major League Baseball brought about an entirely new set of statistics (Average Exit Velocity, Batted Ball Distance, Launch Angle, etc.) that go beyond traditional and advanced stats. Exit Velocity (EV) is the most important of these new stats, and it remains underutilized in DFS.
EV is defined as the speed (measured in Miles Per Hour) at which the baseball comes off a hitter’s bat. Every time the ball is contacted EV is calculated, regardless of the result of the contact. A higher MPH means a batter hits the ball harder on average, which generally leads to more hits and more homeruns.
DFS players need to target hitters with high EV, so we roster guys who are hitting the ball hard. This helps us see hitters who might be slumping in average and HRs, but could break out soon because they’re ripping the ball. Conversely, we can see hitters who may have decent numbers lately, but they haven’t been contacting the ball consistently, so we can avoid them.
WiseTake’s Hitter’s Model utilizes EV (final column), which shows the batter’s average EV over the last 14 days and includes handedness. The EV number you see represents the last 14 days vs either a right-handed pitcher or lefty, depending on the starting pitcher the batter is facing today. If you’re looking for consistency – cross reference this number with the hitter’s average EV for the entire season. If both numbers are high, you’re looking at a consistent hitter.
Hitters, Fast and Furious w/ Slim Gaede
Nick Castellanos (DK – 4100 FD – 3300)
Casty will always been on my radar vs LHP, and he’s staring at Martin Perez tonight in Arlington. Perez allows an xOBA of .377, and we know he constantly struggles against righties. He will see an entire lineup of them in this matchup, and Casty should be hitting 2nd or 4th. His EV14 of 87.82 is elite and his HC14 of 56.25% is among the top hitters on the slate. Need more? How about an xOBA of .406 and .356 ISO vs LHP. He’s also rocking a 96 overall WiseTake grade today. LOCK AND LOAD!
DJ LaMahieu (DK – 4000 FD – 3200)
DJ will be hitting 2nd at Coors against Teheran, who allows 1.94 HR/9, and the Rockies are implied for 6.3 runs. Everyone will be stacking this game, but DJ will be overlooked. His 89.86 EV14 ranks elite tonight, and his price is right on both sites. I like him in all formats.
Victor Martinez (DK – 3000 FD – 2400)
We know he’s on the downturn of his career, but he’s sporting an EV14 of 88.86 vs LHP, and he’ll be hitting 6th in a lineup projected for 5.0 runs. He’s a great punt on either site (C on FD) who allows more salary relief to stack Coors. Yesterday at $2200 on DK he produced 10 FP. I expect similar production tonight, with high upside for the entire lineup.